LONDON — As traditional retail models are being called into question, preorder apparel campaign platform Everpress has carved its own space in the market, at the intersection of sustainability, social responsibility and community-led design.
The platform aims to democratize the merchandise apparel market through community campaigns: Users submit a graphic design of their own, select their garment of choice along with placement, and start a campaign on the Everpress e-commerce store. Once a campaign receives more than five orders, the garments go to production and Everpress handles all shipping and payment processes.
“Preordering addresses the issue of risk, but importantly it also reduces waste, which is key for me,” says founder Alex Econs, who launched the platform in 2016. The platform has been used by more than 14,000 creators, and sold clothing to more than 240,000 customers. Cumulatively, 58 metric tons of deadstock has been saved, according to the label.
Everpress’ preorder structure, modeled after Kickstarter, reduces waste by only producing clothes that have already been paid for, addressing the problem of unsold inventory found in traditional retail models. The majority of garments offered carry the Fair Trade certification, and they have laid out longer-term sustainability plans to be carbon and water positive by 2025.
Their platform consists of a range of creators: artists, designers, musicians and nonprofit organizations. They all utilize the Everpress platform to create branded merchandise with a socially and environmentally responsible twist.
“We’ve seen a 59 percent increase in independent designers looking to launch Ts with us in the weeks following the lockdown, and a 50 percent increase in sales. Buyers understand that their purchase is putting (money) back in the pockets of the creators on our platform at a time where they need it,” says Econs. “There’s been an astonishing number of campaigns in support of the NHS and COVID-19 related charitable causes which is heartening to see.”
“Collaboration is also a key feature of recent designs. We launched a new campaign asking our favorite designers to collaborate in duos with each other, and there’s now more than 30 designs on the platform that have come via collaboration,” he added.
Everpress keeps the dialogue around these community-led initiatives going on social media space, where its aim was to adopt a casual, conversational approach.
The brand introduced a “Community Broadcast” series on its Instagram, in a bid to give creators from their community, ranging from tattoo artists to indie magazine editors, a place to get together and discuss topics ranging from their work-from-home experiences and ongoing projects to T-shirt designs.
“It’s been a breath of fresh air to see such candid activity on our channels at a time like this,” added Econs.